I can’t decide who I pity more: people with nut allergies or those with lactose intolerance. Ice cream or peanut butter? Cheese or salted cashews?
On the one hand, ice cream heals bad days. However, peanut butter on a spoon dipped in raspberry jam (repeat x 10 while studying for the bar exam, when it’s depressingly foggy during July, when it’s too hot to make anything during August, or just because it’s one of those days) is one of my favorite mid-afternoon snacks.
Thankfully, I fall into neither category, although my seasonal allergies more than make up for my lack of food allergies. (It’s not uncommon for close friends to joke that I’m allergic to the outdoors, but I love golfing, hiking, and walking. I might as well be a bee who’s allergic to pollen and honey.)
I stumbled upon the idea of making my own peanut butter when I ran out of the pre-made store-bought stuff. My strong need to instantly gratify my PB urge led me to stare at a bag of roasted, unsalted peanuts for a few minutes, hoping that my mind would churn them into a butter-like texture.
Not having any luck mastering that skill, I sulked back to the couch. A few minutes later, I returned to the kitchen, stared at peanuts, and sulked back to the couch again. Finally, the elevator dinged and a brilliant idea arrived: pour peanuts in food processor, add salty and sweet flavors, and blend the hell out of them.
The end result was a smidgen coarser than store-bought natural PB but even more delicious, thanks to the honey, and perfectly salted to my taste. In fact, it didn’t even need to be dipped in raspberry jam. But you know what? I did that a few times anyway. Sometimes I just can’t help being devilish.
You can buy pre-toasted peanuts or toast raw Spanish peanuts yourself in a 350F oven for 20 to 30 minutes. This recipe is fairly versatile when it comes to sweetness, so you can add more honey to make it more dessert-like or leave it out altogether. Also, I have a sneaking suspicion this would work equally well with almonds if you’d prefer to make almond butter.
To make this vegan, use agave nectar instead of honey, but I would start with about half the amount since agave nectar tastes much sweeter to my taste buds.
1/2 c. peanuts, unsalted and roasted
2 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil or peanut oil
In a food processor, chop peanuts until very fine.
Add honey, salt and oil, and blend for 3 to 5 minutes (maybe less or more time, depending on your food processor; if your food processor is old and clunky like mine, you might want to give it a breather every minute and a half so it doesn’t overheat) until mixture sticks together in a ball and develops a texture similar to natural peanut butter (texture will be more coarse than Jif, Skippy, and other corn syrup-filled PB impostors). Taste, and if desired, add more salt or honey.
Scrape some PB out with a spoon, dip into raspberry jam, and enjoy PB&J on a spoon!
Store remaining PB in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.